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Modernism and MagicExperiments with Spiritualism, Theosophy and the Occult$
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Leigh Wilson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780748627691

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748627691.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Modernism and Magic

Leigh Wilson

Edinburgh University Press

The chapter places the argument of the book in relation to the most important work on the relation between modernism and the occult over the last 20 years. In challenging the conclusions of much of this work, the chapter argues that occult discourses need to be seen as engaging with the idea of magic, and that a particular reading of magical ideas in the late 19th and early 20th centuries can open up a new way of thinking about modernist uses of occult discourses. The chapter also introduces new ways of thinking both of the idea of experiment and of mimesis, concepts that will be central to the argument in the rest of the book, and argues that modernists needed magical mimesis in order to construct their experiments.

Keywords:   Modernism, Magic, Experiment, Mimesis

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